Many who attempted meditation end in giving up feeling frustrated. Some may even question its effectiveness. Well, I was one of them. I even used to doubt if those who claimed to have reached the state of enlightenment through meditation have indeed reached that point. I can’t even get myself to concentrate for a minute.
What Is Enlightenment?
Life has been full of pain and suffering. Is there someone you know who had lived or is still living but never experienced getting hurt? No person could avoid such, and no matter how unwillingly we are, we will at one point in this life cause others pain, too.
Isolating or separating yourself from others can’t make you free from suffering either. In fact, the more you detach yourself, the more painful it would be for you. Even people around you will be hurt by the fact that you are trying to avoid them.
“However, explains Maury Joseph, PsyD, “when we start asking ourselves, others (e.g., our therapists), and life to somehow grant us the power to not suffer the realities of human life that we all face, we are in pursuit of an impossible and potentially self-destructive goal.”
The answer then is not becoming pain-free, but being able to accept that pain and suffering as part of our lives.
Pain Comes For A Reason
Look around you, and see that all are suffering just like you. The only difference is that they still manage to smile despite the pain they carry in their hearts every day. We feel hurt because of our attachment to someone or something. That pain causes us to feel lost and afraid and yet expect so much for the future. In recognizing the pain and trials, we become hopeful, and that hope empowers us to keep going.
Leave The Past Behind, And Mind What’s In Front Of You Today
Our relationship should not be based on fears that we might lose them someday and be alone. We should not see the future as like that in fairytales. Sometimes, we are too focused on the wrong timeline that we forgot to see what’s in for us today. And that’s when we miss our opportunity to be happy.
John Grohol, PsyD, wrote in his article, “Things don’t disappear on their own. You need to make the commitment to “let it go.” If you don’t make this conscious choice up-front, you could end up self-sabotaging any effort to move on from this past hurt.”
The reality is that life is simple and should be lived simply. Life is not your past and not your fantasy. It is here now in front of you. Whoever is in it, look, appreciate and live with it, and be happy.
That is enlightenment at its glory. Being able to accept and see things without much expectation of the future. Looking at life with the right intention, not harming, not manipulating, but enjoying each moment, doing what you need to do, saying what is in your heart. Then, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll have your inner peace.
Sometimes, things become complicated because of our tendency to imagine the future. We become so hard on ourselves (and other people around us) because we think “this is how it should be.” That thinking can turn you into a robot with no feelings, only looking at what’s ahead, getting to that goal without care.
You can still be the best that you can. You can achieve anything with integrity through the talent given to you. Learning to do things the right way, paying attention to details, being present at the moment take away the need to struggle and run over someone (either intentionally or unintentionally).
Silence Is Not The Key
I sat there for five, 10, 30 minutes, in silence, but I can’t seem to achieve a moment of deep concentration. My mind was everywhere, and my body was eager to make a move. I was never successful in my first, second, nth tries. It took me years, but I never gave up.
I read books, practice being present, appreciate everything around me (even the noise). I sat in the same corner every day for just 5 minutes. In the office, right in my chair whenever something bothers me, I just close my eyes. Success in meditation is not about the silence around me, but to silence the one within me is the secret. Peace can be achieved with the patience to wait for it to happen.
Patience can bring you in the present moment, and mindful of all those around you turns you into someone who talks with politeness, stand with dignity, walk with confidence, and think with a clear mind taking into consideration others’ emotions.
Meditation is not about hurrying things, but being patient, until the time comes. It’s a habit you will develop over (the right) time, not at the time you wanted to. “Try to avoid “forcing” yourself to be present or mindful,” says Laura Schenck, LPC. “There is nothing aggressive about meditation. When we push ourselves too hard or force something to “happen” it usually does not happen. Simply breathe, relax, and allow your efforts to be open, relaxed, and steady, she continues.
Because meditation is not magic, but a practice that cultivates patience and discipline through your mind that your body will follow.